Making Sure Your Staff & Recruits Are Allowed To Work

As an employer, you are legally required to prevent illegal working. You may fulfil this legal duty by undertaking simple checks on your employees’ right to work in the UK. Here's your new guide for making the right checks.

If you employ an illegal worker and have not carried out the correct right to work check, you may be liable to a civil penalty of up to £20,000 per illegal worker or a criminal conviction carrying a prison sentence of up to five years and an unlimited fine.

The check needs to be performed before the employment starts. You also need to perform a follow-up check on people who have time-limited permission to work in the UK.

To comply with the law you need to conduct a 3-step check:

  1. See original documents that are on the Home Office’s list of documents that demonstrate that the person has the right to undertake the work in question;
  2. Check the validity of the documents you are shown in the presence of the individual; and
  3. Make copies of the documents you are shown and state on the copies, or in a contemporaneous record, the date on which you checked them. You need to retain the copy documents.

You should carry out the check for all employees to avoid discrimination and to demonstrate a transparent recruitment practice.

Download the full guide.

The information contained in this publication sets out both the legal requirements that food businesses are expected to comply with as well as good practice. However, it is industry guidance and does not necessarily cover everything that food businesses need to consider